SOUTHERN JEWISH RESOURCE NETWORK FOR GENDER
AND SEXUAL DIVERSITY
The Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender & Sexual Diversity (SOJOURN) is the American South's resource for Jewish & LGBTQ+ programming, education, support, and advocacy. Our mission is to advance LGBTQ+ affirmation and empowerment across the South.
Welcome to SOJOURN
Your home on the journey to full inclusion.
SOJOURNs Statement Against Racism
Judaism teaches the idea of tzedek, or justice, for Jews to pursue. Although the circumstances of police involved murder are complex, there is simplicity to being outraged. We can and should be angry. In cities across the U.S. people are speaking up, peacefully. The question we are left with is how loud and how often do we need to speak? What is the remedy for us to be seen, taken seriously, and change the systemic racism in our country?
As members of the Jewish and gender and sexually diverse communities, SOJOURN will continue to fight for equity for all those struggling. We understand and feel the suffering of the people who feel unseen. People of Color who are Jewish and/or queer have felt alienated within our own communities for far too long. We have witnessed pain, disappointment, mistrust and hopelessness.
- We commit to being intentional, mindful of every decision and its impact on people of color.
- We commit to recognizing our biases.
- We commit to educating ourselves and passing on that knowledge.
- We commit to listening – a lot.
- We commit to sharing our experiences to reach better understanding.
- We commit to practice humility because we can’t know everything there is we can do.
- We commit to modifying our actions according to the needs of the community and what is morally right.
- We commit to speaking up when we observe overt, covert, or internalized forms of oppression.
Georgia, along with South Carolina, Wyoming, and Arkansas is one of four states without Hate Crimes legislation. With the passing of HB426 in the Georgia House, we must implore our State Senators to pass this bill. And once it is passed, we must demand that it is enforced.
We stand together in the pursuit of justice. We must take care of ourselves and each other in that quest. The teaching by Hillel states, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me. If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?” Now is that time.
“Justice, justice shall you pursue” ~ Deuteronomy 16:20
צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף
Rabbi Joshua Lesser, Founder
Staci Gelbaum, President of the Board
Amy Sue Mann, Vice President
Tom Downs, Treasurer
Sara Glassberg, Secretary
Members At Large
Changing the landscape of inclusion through education.
SOJOURN is proud to offer a variety of educational activities and experiences. Our workshops focus on giving students, teachers, and communities the tools to be welcoming for gender and sexually diverse people, Judaic learning, and suicide prevention. Each of our workshops is customized for your individual group, needs, and time commitment.
Building inclusive communities through public outreach.
SOJOURN builds inclusive communities by coordinating the Jewish community’s participation in Atlanta’s annual Pride event, bringing in highly acclaimed speakers, and publishing the LGBTQ Guide to Jewish Atlanta.
Seeking to eliminate discrimination through advocacy.
SOJOURN seeks to eliminate gender inequity and discriminatory legislation through advocacy efforts in the South. Thanks in part to our efforts, Atlanta’s Jewish community has been a potent voice in conversations against discrimination, and not a single local rabbi has spoken in support of religious liberty bills.
Providing support for the LGBTQ+ community.
SOJOURN provides resources for LGBTQ people and their families through a wide variety of community programming and direct support. Programs include monthly teen programs, information and referral services, and a Comprehensive Sex Education Program. We also facilitate anti-bullying training, inclusivity audits, Pride celebrations, and direct support for the Atlanta LGBTQ community.